Understanding Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder

Fri, 10 Nov 2023

What is Substance Use Disorder?

Substance Use Disorder, commonly known as Drug addiction, is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs. When addicted, a person may continue to use the drug despite the harm it causes.



A thorough evaluation is required for diagnosing drug addiction (substance use disorder) and often includes an assessment by a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist. Blood, urine or other lab tests are used to assess drug use, although they’re not a diagnostic test for addiction they may be used for monitoring treatment and recovery.

Mental health professionals usually use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, for diagnosis of a substance use disorder


Professional team of psychiatrists and psychologists along with social workers and addiction counselors treat patients with love and compassion. People who are substance dependent initially suffer from altered brain chemistry, strong abuse-related memories and decreased impulse control. A strong craving for the use of the substance leaves them vulnerable to relapse even after years of being abstinent.

Being a chronic recurrent illness, addiction may require repeated treatments until complete abstinence is achieved. The right treatment is a must In order to get long-term or life-long recovery.

It usually involves the following:

Medical treatment

involves detoxification. Medically -assisted Detox allow you to rid your body of addicted substance in safe environment. Treatment option for detoxification depend on several factors including type of addictive disorder, the length and severity of use and its effect on individual. Addiction however is a chronic condition and the changes in brain pathway created by years of drug use do not revert back to normal when body is cleansed of drug. Thus Long term treatment beyond detoxification is usually necessary

Counselling and Behaviour Therapy

The Most Common form of treatment following detoxification. Therapy might occur one to one ,group or family basis depending on needs of individual .It is usually intensive at the outset of treatment.

 Different Type of Therapy Includes:

1.Motivational Interviewing :helps you to explore and resolve their ambivalence about their substance use and begin to make positive behavioural changes.

2.Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: CBT emphasis on identifying and modifying irrational thoughts, managing negative mood and intervening after a lapse to prevent a full-blown relapse. Other Elements of CBT include social skills training and problem solving skills.

3.Relapse Prevention :It include identifying high risk situations and trigger for cravings and learning to cope with lapses and attaining life -style balance.

4.Support Group like Alcohol Annonymus  and Narcotic Annonymus : Aims to provide support, practical help and care for group members who share a common problem.This Approach regards addiction as a relapsing illness with complete abstinence and is based on behavioural ,spiritual and cognitive principle.

Why Emoneeds?

We at Emoneeds provide highly effective and advanced treatment for Substance Use Disorder by expert psychiatrists and experienced psychologists.

Book Appointment with our Mental Health Experts:

Addiction Disorder FAQ's

False: no one chooses addiction it’s a disease.

False; In 2016, alcoholism killed 3 million people worldwide (WHO).

Today 283 million people struggle with alcoholism.

Opiates kill 179 people each day. Last year 79,000 people died from opiate overdoses in 2017.

There are many addictions such as gambling, eating, exercise, sex, phones, video games.

Addiction makes you feel good…

Until you find yourself deprived

False; this disease not about race, socio economic status or ethnicity not about young or the old not about the poor or the wealthy addiction does not discriminate.

If you go to church or temple every day it doesn’t matter, it can happen to anybody. It’s an attack.

False; if you have ever taken a look and society there is a financial impact of this pandemic nationwide the cost how its affected you. Addiction to tobacco, alcohol and drugs costs tax $1 trillion annually.

False: First thing you can do self-educated to be aware is to be alive, know what’s going on with your children, talk to your neighbors and coworkers everybody today is has been affected. Ask for help.

 If you or a loved one is struggling, you are not alone and there is help. Please reach out.

Substance Use Disorder FAQ's

First and foremost thing that requires attention is that addiction is a relapsing illness. For various types of addictions, relapse rate varies from 7-15%. Treating different kinds of addiction requires different skill set and also that every individual’s needs are different. The treatment can vary from months to years, depending on the will of the person to get better. Studies have found that longer the treatment duration, better will be the prognosis. When deciding about the duration of the treatment, it would be better to consult with your psychotherapist or treating psychiatrist.

If you are feeling the need to read this, then it might possibly mean that you or your loved ones need help at the moment to get rid of their addictions. You might possibly need to take help of the rehabilitation centre, because:

A.) You, yourself have attempted and failed at quitting the addictive substances.

B.) You can’t seem to visualise a way out of the addiction.

C.) Your addiction has negatively affected important areas of your life, including your familial relationships, your job, and/or your health.

D.) You want to change your addictive habits, but you fail to understand where to start from.

E.) You are experiencing certain physical withdrawal symptoms after you stop consuming addictive substances.

NO! Psychiatry medications are used for the sole purpose to treat psychiatric disorders which includes addiction as a part of it. Many of these illnesses are chronic and repetitive in nature, which may require a long term medication. After stopping the medication it is seen that there are relapses of symptoms which gives a notion to a patient of the contrary. Some of the medications which are used to actively reduce the anxiety symptoms, such as benzodiazepines, sedatives or hypnotics do have an addiction potential, when taken without consultation from a doctor. In some cases patients do get dependent on medication than actively working on their disorders, which they think is the last resort. It is utmost essential in psychiatric disorders to work with the therapist actively, than to rely only on medications especially in cases of addiction.

We understand that you are highly concerned about your family member, who is currently suffering from a psychiatric illness. But, we highly recommend you to keep the conversations light in front of the patient. Try and avoid any conversations with them, that might end up triggering them. Instead, try and give them some time and space to recover on their own. Just make sure, they are taking medications on time. Make sure, they get professional help, when required. Also, try and avoid expressing any emotions in front of the patient, be it positive or negative. Instead, talk to the therapist and let them handle the issues they are facing.

This possibly could be a part of their illness. We, as family members/ friends should give them some time and space to recover from it. Although, we need to make sure to keep a check on their safety when they are not around, but we should try and avoid hovering them at all times.

We need to listen to them empathically. Try and provide them a warm and emotionally comforting environment. Also, try and avoid convincing or arguing with them that their experiences are not true. Instead, ask them to describe the symptoms and how he/ she feels about them. We need to be understanding and patient at all times. Always try and respect their decision, if they do not want to talk about it.

A caregiver is the most important person in patient’s recovery. They need to learn to accept the fact that the patient has illness and how can they be respectful, calm and keep a positive attitude. They need to learn how to communicate openly and often with the treating psychiatrists and therapists. They need to learn how to work together with the patients to create short-term goals. Caregivers can learn to genuinely praise and compliment their patients frequently, even for day-to-day activities. They can seek help of the professional, if there is an incident of any violent behaviour by the patient.

The answer is NO! It is true that 99% of the times, the patient is experiencing real symptoms. As a caregiver, you can educate yourself with the help of the therapist/ psychiatrist, so that it can help you deal better with the symptoms and the disorder that the patient is suffering from. Always remember that every individual has their own pace of recovery. Do let them take their time to successfully come out of their illness.

Looking for support? Visit our help center.